June 8, 2012 - 3:09 pm
If you’re the type to look for signs, don’t bother with the old Glass Pool Inn property on the Strip. That one’s already gone.
The distinctive sign marking a motel that has been in countless films, TV shows and photographs since 1955 went missing recently, not long after it was marked for preservation by The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas.
“Everyone is just obviously heartbroken at the loss of the sign,” said Danielle Kelly, executive director of the museum. “It has been in so many movies, it is really an iconic location and sign.”
The museum posted news of the missing sign on its Facebook page.
Kelly said the donor of the sign, which had been at Las Vegas Boulevard and Russell Road, called her and reported it stolen.
She didn’t know whether the owner, who she said wished to remain anonymous, notified police.
The sign itself was a landmark for its size and unique design, two light-blue, pond-shaped facades with the motel name and an advertisement for its slot machines.
It was made more special by the motel itself, which closed in 2003.
Opened in 1955 as the Mirage, the motel was known for the large, above-ground pool out front that featured large windows that allowed passers-by to gaze into the shimmering water. It was renamed in 1989 when developer Steve Wynn opened the Mirage Resort.
“It was probably the most famous 48-unit property in the country,” Allen Rosoff, the former longtime operator of the motel, told the Review-Journal in 2003. “In one sense, it was the first themed Vegas resort.”
Kelly said she was told the sign had been taken down in preparation for a move to the museum, which seeks to preserve iconic Las Vegas signs.
With the motel having been featured in everything from movies such as “Casino” and “Leaving Las Vegas” to music videos for artists like Bon Jovi and ZZ Top, the sign was an important artifact, she said.
“That would be a sign we obviously would be excited to save,” she said.
According to Clark County property records, TGI Vegas Inc. owns the motel site.
The 2003 Review-Journal article reported a company called TG Investments led by Tom Gonzales once had visions of building a megaresort at the site. Gonzales could not be reached Friday afternoon.
Kelly said she’s not sure what someone would do with an ill-gotten, historic motel sign.
“As an object itself, people can get scrap-metal value for something,” Kelly said. “They can sell pieces of it. Maybe they loved it and wanted to keep it for themselves.”
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@
reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285.